About a year ago, we were at the supermarket in search of basil and instead of a buying a small package, we ended up buying a basil plant…. best decision ever! Miraculously, a number of months later, our basil plant is still alive and continues to produce an abundance of aromatic basil leaves!
At one point, we were regularly pruning the leaves off because we were obsessively eating Caprese salad. Since the sunny summer months are long gone, the cravings have switched from salad to warm soups and pastas.
This brings me back to our basil plant. Since we stopped eating salad and haven’t been pruning the leaves, the basil plant grew a little out of control. Fluffy, green, and full of leaves… what to do… a-hah! Pesto! We never have pine nuts in our house, however, we always have almonds. Instead of the traditional recipe with pine nuts, we decided to try roasted almonds instead and it work out great!
- 2 cups of basil leaves, packed
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup almonds, roasted
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- In a food processor, add in the basil and almonds. Pulse for 30 seconds or till the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add in the crushed garlic and cheese, pulse a few more times. Scrape down the sides with a spatula
- While the food processor is running, slowly add in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides again and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pulse a few more times and enjoy!
Pesto is extremely versatile. For instance, you can throw it in a pasta and it becomes an instant delicious sauce, spread it on bread, or even bake it right into bread. I can go on but I’ll stop here and just tell you that our favorite way to enjoy pesto is with pasta. It is so delicious and is perfect for a quick dinner any day of the week!
Chicken Pesto Pasta
- 5 chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 500g of pasta
- Salt and pepper
- Bring a pot of water to boil and heavily salt it. Cook pasta according to package instructions until just al dente.
- Cut up the chicken thighs and remove as much water as possible. Season with a little salt, pepper, and oil
- Add a few tablespoons of oil into a pan over medium high heat and preheat. Once the oil is hot, add in the chicken pieces and sear until you have a nice golden crust. Once you have a nice sear going, add in the butter, chopped onions and garlic to the pan and cook few another few minutes until the onion and garlic are tender and the chicken is completely cooked through.
- Turn the heat to low and add in the drained cooked pasta. Toss to warm the pasta up and add in pesto. Toss the pasta and add more pesto to taste.
- Season to taste and enjoy with freshly grated parmesan cheese!
There you have it! A quick, easy, and delicious way to enjoy pesto during the cold winter months!